Free Meditation Classes at The New Wheel Bike Shop


What is the sound of a silent motor turning? That’s the kind of koan you may want to ponder at the new series of meditation classes hosted at the fabulous and futuristic New Wheel Bike Shop at 420 Cortland (near Wool). The classes are free, the first one happens tomorrow, Thursday January 28.  

The New Wheel’s blog provides more detail:

Many of our customers have enlightened us on the sense of calm that a daily bike commute has brought to their lives. It is in this spirit that the New Wheel, in partnership with Brahma Kumaris of San Francisco, bring you meditation classes every other week at The New Wheel.

First class: Thursday, January 28th, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

Thursday, February 4th, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

Thursday, February 25th, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

Thursday, March 3rd, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

Thursday, March 31st, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

Thursday, April 7th, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

Thursday, April 28th, 7:15pm – 8:15pm

We look forward to seeing you here!


PHOTO: Courtesy of The New Wheel

Beloved, Bernal-Owned Dema Clothing Store Closing This Month


About a year ago, Bernalwood created an ad-hoc spreadsheet to keep track of Bernal-owned businesses that are not in Bernal Heights. The basic idea was to create and eventually publish a list of Bernal-owned businesses around San Francisco, to help the Citizens of Bernalwood know where they can shop locally, even when they venture off-hill.

That spreadsheet remains a work in progress, but in the meantime, we’re sad to report that one Bernal-owned business will soon vanish from the list: Dema, the glamorous women’s clothing store on Valencia (near 21st) owned by Neighbor Dema Grim from Santa Marina, is closing at the end of the month.

Neighbor Dema tells Bernalwood:

Yes, my time has come. My customer base has slowly dwindled, and it’s just not financially feasible for me to keep the shop going. I opened in 1997— not much on Valencia then! Survived two recessions.

But this “new” SF baffles me. The new residents seem particularly lacking in style. My wonderful eclectic, arty customers have moved to the East Bay. And online shopping is de rigeur now. SO. I am closing the shop and moving to a studio in Dogpatch, in the Workshop building to be precise, where I’ll continue to work with my wholesale accounts and do custom clothing by appointment,

I’m super excited! I never wanted to be a retailer, really, and it’s taken so much time away from actually designing the clothes. And Dogpatch is full of people making things and doing groovy collaborations. So, yipee! if anyone wants to follow me they could sign up for my mailing list on my blog.

Good luck Neighbor Dema! And in the meantime, let’s expand that Bernal-Owned Business list: If you live in Bernal and own a business around San Francisco, feel free to add your information to this spreadsheet.

PHOTO: Neighbor Dema, in her native biome, among many frocks. 

Thursday: Eat, Drink, and Shop Merry During the First-Ever Holiday Walk on Mission Street


We are blessed with much bounty here in the Dominion of Bernalwood, including two terrific commercial districts; each of which now plays host to its own holiday celebration.

Last week was the 2015 Cortland Holiday Stroll, and tomorrow, Thursday, December 17, the fabulous merchants, chefs, and barkeeps along the La Lengua stretch of Mission Street will hold the inaugural Mission-Bernal Holiday Walk:

Please join the Mission-Bernal Merchants Association for our first ever Mission Bernal Holiday Walk on Thursday, December 17, 5-8pm.

40+ businesses between Cesar Chavez and Randall Streets will honor you with holiday cheer. Follow our festive balloons and custom wreaths (made by Cole Hardware) to experience all that our neighborhood has to offer.

We have a great list of participating businesses for ‪#‎MBMAWinterWalk2015‬. Hit up the craft fairs and do some holiday shopping at Secession Art and Design, Avenue and Cafe St. Jorge. Then wander down the street for some food and drinks. The following restaurants and bars are offering specials. Participating businesses will have a wreath on the door!

Blue Plate SF: Drink specials
Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack: wine tasting on the patio
Cafe Seventy8: $2 peppermint mochas and free holiday cookies
Cole Hardware: Glass of wine
The Front Porch: Children’s Activities and Mulled Wine
Iron & Gold: Drink specials
Old Bus Tavern: Drink specials and brewery tour
Secession Art & Design: 20% off Art!
The Royal Cuckoo Organ Lounge: Drink specials
Virgil’s Sea Room: Drink specials
BEL: Drink specials and free fries with purchase
Moxie Yoga: Check out our new location at 3232 Mission Street
Ichi Sushi: Food and drink happy hour specials
Cafe St. Jorge: Art + Craft Fair featuring local artists selling their wares

Tonight: You’re Invited to The New Wheel’s Holiday Party


The 2015  Holiday Stroll on Cortland was wonderful (if somewhat wet), but if you missed the fun last night, you can still get a tasty taste of seasonal cheer. Tonight, Friday, Dec. 11, the fabulous New Wheel bike shop, at 420 Cortland, invites you to their glamorous, celebrity-packed Holiday Party:

We are so excited to welcome David Chiu, member of the California State Assembly, and sponsor of AB-1096 (the electric bike bill) that was successfully signed into law this year.

David will make a breif public comment at 6pm – as such we’ve moved the start time of the party forward to 5:30.

This year’s holiday party will be a chance to relax, celebrate, and eat some great food.

Don’t miss the first annual New Wheel keynote address at 7:00pm by SF electric bike champions, Brett Thurber and Karen Wiener.

This is also a chance to meet your fellow electric bike riders, The New Wheel staff and a few of our top bike and accessory suppliers.


Here’s the newfangled video invite:

PHOTO: Courtesy of The New Wheel

You’re Invited to the Secession Holiday Party, Thursday Eve


Neighbor Eden Stein from the fabulous Secession Art and Design shop on Mission (near Valencia) is spreading the word about Secession’s holiday party, happening tomorrow, Thursday, December 3:

Please join us at our holiday party on Thursday, Dec. 3, from 6-9pm.

Our brand-new show features original art by Hilary Williams and abstract paintings by Andrzej Michael Karwacki.

Shop from over 60 independent makers, carefully curated with you and your list in mind. Hand-made treasures let you give a gift that has personality. Small warm wishes come in the shape of soy candles, Bernal decanters, prints, and ceramics. Add a little sparkle from our locally-made jewelry collection. Let us dress up your babies, toddlers, and everyone in the family with our unique clothing.


Today: Grand Opening Party for Neighbor Darcy’s “Heartfelt Ampersand” Boutique


It’s been a few weeks since Neighbor Darcy Lee of Heartfelt fame opened “Heartfelt Ampersand,” her new boutique a few doors up the street at 409 Cortland.

Now that she’s settled in, Neighbor Darcy is finally ready to have a proper opening party, and word on the street is you’re invited. She says:

We’re having an opening party!

Please stop by for a bit of bubbly, some tasty treats, and live tunes, Tuesday December 1st, from 4 to 8pm.

The infamous Brian Belknap will be playing, and there will be champagne and cookies from Dianda’s.

Bonus: Wear a frock or sundry from Ampersand and get a 25% discount on a new purchase. See you there!


PHOTO: Courtesy of Heartfelt &

Healthy Spirits Now Open on Cortland, with a Grand Opening Sale on Saturday



It’s finally open. After weeks of curiosity and voyeuristic speculation, the Healthy Spirits liquor store has opened at 249 Cortland, inside the former Chuck’s Grocery space.

The opening of a liquor store would not typically warrant much attention, but Healthy Spirits is not a typical boozemonger; The new Cortland branch is the third outpost in the Healthy Spirits family, which is regarded as one of the City’s more esteemed purveyors of whiskey and agave spirits.

Store manager Nate Breed brings Bernalwood the 411, and extends an invitation to a special grand opening sale on Saturday, Nov. 28:

We’ve now officially opened Healthy Spirits Cortland.

So we are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Bernal Heights community, and we look forward to what we can add to the neighborhood. Our first shop was founded in 1998 in the Castro District, so we’ve had about 17 years to perfect and evolve who we are and what we do. Our main areas of expertise are beer, whiskey and agave (tequila and mezcal), but everything we carry is hand-selected and extremely quality-focused.

One of our most important goals is consumer education. We strive to have the most knowledgeable and dedicated staff that can make beer and spirits consumption into an immersive, informative and exciting experience. This notion over the years has helped us provide great customer service, but it also breeds an environment that’s accessible for both the novice and connoisseur alike.

Another chance for education lies in our Beer, Bourbon and Agave Clubs, that feature advanced monthly selections with detailed write-ups and interviews with the distillers and brewers themselves. The clubs come with an awful lot of perks, including discounts, first shot at limited releases and occasional free tickets to beer and spirit events. We also strongly believe in supporting local breweries and distilleries while seeking out the esoteric and saving a special place for the classics. It’s important for us to not only understand how something is made and what it tastes like, but also where it’s made and by who.

Anyway that’s Healthy Spirits in a nut shell. And we’d like to extend a special invitation to all your Bernalwood readers to attend our Grand Opening Celebration on Small Business Saturday November 28th at 11am.

We will be giving away free swag all day and having some unbelievable sales: 10 to 40% off everything in the shop. We’ll also be raffling off the right to buy extremely rare bottles of whiskey like Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace Antique, Four Rose Limited 2015 and St George Single Malt the first 5 hours, and putting other rare and vintage beer and whiskies on the shelf when the doors open. Come early, as the best deals and rarest selections tend to go fast.

Store hours are:

Monday-Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Friday-Saturday: 11am to 11pm
Sunday: 11am to 9pm

See you at the shop!


PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics